What are the risks involved in liposuction ?

What are the risks involved in liposuction ? I have only heard the positive side of it...would like to know the darker side of this process. What are the various tests and analysis is tobe done before getting liposuction. And how safe is Vaser liposelection as compared to other traditional processes?

Doctor Answers 5

What are the risks involved in liposuction ?

Assuming you are an appropriate candidate (you are not obese; you have good skin tone; you are well medically speaking) and assuming that you will be going to someone well qualified and experienced, there really is no "dark side" to the story.  Delayed resolution of swelling and bruising, fluid collections (seroma), asymmetries and surface irregularities are all possible but unlikely.  In good hands, major complications are rare.  Any ultrasound based technology can have problems with skin burns in the hands of the inexperienced.  In addition there tends to be more drainage than with traditional techniques and therefor perhaps a greater risk of fluid collection.  Good luck

Charleston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Liposuction Risks

Thank you for your question. 

Fortunately, significant complications from liposuction surgery are infrequent. Liposuction surgery is one of the two most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Most often this surgery is performed without experiencing any major problem.

The subject of risks and potential complications of surgery is best discussed on a personal basis with you when you visit us during your consultation and your preoperative appointment. The risks in most surgeries are similar. Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with you include hematoma (an accumulation of blood under the skin that may require removal), infection, changes in sensation, scarring, allergic reactions, damage to underlying structures, need for revisions, unsatisfactory results possibly necessitating additional procedures and medical risks. Other risks more specific to liposuction may include indentations and irregularities.

You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions we provide, both before and after your liposuction surgery. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Generally a very safe procedure, though worst case scenario is fatality

Liposuction has been around for many years, and it's one of the safest cosmetic surgical procedures done.

Things can go wrong. This includes fatal outcomes. Patients have developed life-threatening infections, and canulas have accidentally been placed into the intestines, lungs and heart.

These serious complications are very, very rare.

By far, the most common complication is a bad aesthetic outcome with a need for revisions. This is mostly dependent on patient selection and the experience and talent of the provider.

Out of over 2,000 liposuction cases, I have had one serious complication. The patient developed an infection, which required hospitalization. The patient spent five days in the hospital and did fine in the end. I am always fully responsible for my patients' well-being, including their aftercare. This patient did not take her prescribed antibiotics after surgery.

Still, I am ultimately responsible for her well-being and am available to take care of all my patients regardless of potential outcomes.

Make sure you see an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.

VASER has a slightly higher risk of patients developing seromas or fluid buildups.

The training and experience of your provider are the most important attributes for a safe and aesthetically successful outcome.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

Mats Hagstrom, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Lipo risks

As a rule in experienced hands liposuction is quite safe.With that said there are many poorly trained and / or disreputable physicians who perform the procedure and can give a great technique a bad name and increase risks of complications.Like in any surgery you can get an infection,bleeding or seroma .If the doctor removes too much fat you can get contour problems like indents, waviness or asymmetry.Nationwide probably the most common problem is of a cosmetic nature either too
much or too little was removed.So 
occasional touch ups are required to improve things

Robert Savage, MD (retired)
Wellesley Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

What are the risks involved in liposuction?

Liposuction, as with any surgical procedure, can and does involve risks.  These risks can include bleeding, infection, seroma formation, contour deformity, and looser skin.  In most cases these risks involve a small percentage of the patients - usually less than 5%.  On rare occasions, deaths have been associated with liposuction. In one study, out of the Office of the Medical Examiner of  New York City, 5 deaths occurred in 48,527 liposuction procedures.  It should be noted that large volume liposuction ( greater than 5 liters of volume removal) resulted in higher risk rates.  

Vaser (ultrasound) liposuction can add the risk of a burn to the skin which traditional liposuction would not.  However, the use of ultrasound can reduce the amount of bleeding as compared to traditional liposuction.
If you choose to consider liposuction, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive liposuction experience and be certain your procedure is performed in a certified surgical center.  Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.